Friday, January 08, 2010

Life Goes On

Twelve-year-old boy robs
store with toy gun, says
“thank you” when given cash.

Life goes on…somehow. For those of us not really “in the know,” we might as well be living in a different epoch, or even in a different reality. We shovel our snow, plant our gardens, fix our fences, sit in traffic, pay our bills, and ”make do” as best we can. In the meantime, “out there,” things are happening that we really know little or nothing about. Oh, there is the news, but nowadays the news isn’t really news at all, it’s mostly just lies and fabrications that might as well be fairy tales. I saw somewhere, for example, that we might be going to “war” with Yemen. I guess this is because some Nigerian kid passed through there on his way to the U.S. and was apparently planning to blow up a plane on the way, with, of all things, a bomb in his underwear. It isn’t entirely clear whether he got the bomb in Yemen or Nigeria, and he apparently was “radicalized” in London, but in any case we are about to blow a few more billions on some kind of military action in Yemen, which would seem to be a bit of an overreaction, except somewhere in this story there is probably something to do with oil. I guess maybe someone has some idea of what the hell we are doing in Yemen but there is little or no chance I will ever know. This seems to be somewhat similar to our presence in Afghanistan where we are, I guess, “nation building.” The long planned and wished for pipeline through that difficult country is rarely if ever mentioned anymore, as if it has nothing to do with our altruistic desires to make the Afghans “like us” (whether they want to be like us or not). Anyway, trying to understand what we are doing around the world, if you separate it from oil, is like trying to put together a cross-word puzzle that your five year old has mixed up with several others and some of the pieces are missing. I have more or less given up all hope of understanding what we are doing except for the basic fundamentals of killing, stealing, profiteering, looting, arson, rape, brutalizing, and torturing, all in the guise of “spreading democracy.”

I find I am also being confronted now with trying to decide whether Republicans are stupid, ignorant, or dishonest, or perhaps all three simultaneously. Take Rudy Giuliani, for example, who announced on TV somewhere the other day that there were no terrorist attacks on the U.S. during the Bush administration. This was the guy who made his reputation (such as it is) on his “heroism” during 9/11, and tried (but failed miserably) to ride it into the White House. Did he know he was lying? Was he ignorant of the actual dates? Is he just stupid? In his case I’m pretty sure he was lying as that is apparently all he ever does. But this is just one tiny example of what Republicans have been doing for years, without being challenged by the MSM interviewers who have let them get away with the most outrageous ignorance, stupidity, and lies, without ever confronting them about it. Guiliani is not the only one who has gone unchallenged, Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, and many others were allowed to get away with the most idiotic and outrageous falsehoods for years. I guess this is not surprising, given that the MSM, and their paid hacks, are on the same side and are no longer interested in “news” as such (and as there is no really useful definition of news, it has become whatever they tell us it is). To listen to the news as presented by the “main stream,” you might as well stand outside and listen to the coyotes howling.

I confess I find it strange that although I try to keep informed, I watch the news, I use the internet, I read magazines, papers, and books, I really have no way of knowing what the truth is about anything anymore. When I was a youth and was told that England had declared war on Germany because the Germans had attacked Poland I didn’t hesitate to believe it. At least it made some kind of sense. But now I am told we are going to engage in military action in Yemen that makes no sense to me (unless somehow I can “connect the dots” between a young Nigerian man, Nigeria, terrorism, Yemen, London, Detroit, his underwear, his father, and something called al Quaida, which is apparently a world-wide criminal conspiracy consisting of somewhere between about 200 or perhaps 2000, or maybe more, that have to be fought with billions of dollars of military hardware and soldiers. Similarly, I could never understand our going to “war” with Iraq, with Afghanistan, and now with Pakistan and Yemen, and perhaps even Iran. There is only one thing that connects all of this (to me) bizarre activity, and that thing is oil. But cats are nice, there are soft and affectionate (sometimes), and pleasant to hold and pet, and they remind me that here at Sandhill there is a form of reality that apparently no longer exists elsewhere in the world.

"I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"Death thought about it."Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."

Terry Pratchett
There is reason to believe that Genetically Modified crops can result in organ damage, at least in mice.

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